Location: Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland
This is the work of Elizabeth Lee Evans
In January 2019, two of my husband, Stuart Evans’, Scottish cousins (one from Isle of Lewis and the other from Dunfermline) all descendants of Arthur Robertson, Chamberlain of Glasgow, sent us photographs of a tattered, smudged handwritten 16-page 1794 Robertson Narrative that had been found behind a partition (along with a grocery list and a medical journal) in the Minister’s manse of the First Presbyterian Church of Kirkcudbrightshire during a 1991 renovation. One of the cousins recently wrote, “The people who found the stuff could’ve just thrown it in the bin, luckily they didn’t.” Fortunately, the Robertson Narrative was donated to and preserved by the Kirkcudbrightshire Stewartry Museum described by Ken Wood as exhibiting “a wealth of objects and having an old-world charm.”
After reading the 16 pages, I surmise Mary "Jean" Robertson, daughter of Arthur Robertson Chamberlain of Glasgow, wrote this incredible story of this Robertson family’s life events from the 1750’s to 1794 which includes among other turning points: their marriages, her feelings about the deaths of her brothers and sisters as well as voyages her brothers had taken to and from Virginia and Antigua and the sojourn of her father’s two nephews from Virginia when they lived with Mary’s family for 5 years to be educated in Glasgow, Scotland. The story so intrigued me from the bits I was able to decipher, that I decided to transcribe the 16-page Mary "Jean" Robertson Narrative this February 2019. I am neither a professional genealogist or transcriptionist but rather a curious Robertson family enthusiast.
One might ask why would this1794 Robertson letter be stored at this particular church manse? The following lineage of Robertson’s may explain why the letter would be housed where it was found. The nephew of the writer, Arthur Neil Grant Robertson, was the son of the writer Mary’s brother, the Doctor, John Robertson of Antigua, and grandson of Arthur Robertson the Chamberlain of Glasgow. This Arthur the younger, and his wife, Elizabeth Steuart-Barclay of Colerney, were the parents of Lindsey Margaret Robertson. Lindsay Margaret Robertson married the Reverend Thomas Wood the first Reverend of the First United Presbyterian Church of Kirkcudbrightshire. Presumably, the Robertson letter was in Lindsay Margaret Robertson Wood’s possession, and later found in the manse of the church and preserved in the Stewartry Museum.
Evidently, Mary "Jean" Robertson’s letter was in Lindsay Margaret Robertson Wood’s possession and luckily found in the manse in 1991 as described above. While the letter details the life events, deaths and relations of the writer’s Robertson siblings and parents it does not, as far as I am able to determine, clearly define the parents or ancestors of Arthur Robertson, the elder of Glasgow, although there is a reference on the first page to Arthur’s father being a “respectable______ in Edin… And other suggestions about Arthur’s father’s actions that I cannot fully decipher, yet.
At this time, I am fairly certain that Mary "Jean" Robertson (she signed her letters "Jean") born July 1745 the fourth daughter of Bessie Yuille (daughter of Thomas the 3rd Laird of Darleith) and Arthur Robertson Chamberlain of Glasgow, is the author of the letter. The handwriting is strong and almost masculine if there is such a thing. So at first, I thought the author was her brother, Alexander, until I got to the page when he died. But, by process of elimination, it would seem to be Mary "Jean" Robertson writing since she says that she is not quite 2 years younger than her sister, Nell; Nell was born about 1743. She calls her siblings by nicknames: Elizabeth the eldest is Lizzy, E. or Eliza. , William is often abbreviated Wm., Thomas is Tom, Agnes is Nanny, John is my brother the Doctor, Christian is Christy, she refers to herself, obviously as “I”, Helen is Nell or Nelly, Alexander is Sandy, Robert is Bob and Marion is Menie or Minie.
On the subject of transcription, if I did not understand a word or phrase, I drew a line _____and indicated letter damages such as rips and smudges; when I could not understand certain letters within a word, I bracketed the difficult portion and used question marks when puzzled. I tried hard not to correct the capitalizations, spelling or grammar and stay with the author’s words; however, WORD sometimes automatically corrected some of the narratives. Again, I am not a professional letter transcriber but rather an intrigued researcher of this Arthur’s Robertson line.
I hope someday to flesh out more of Mary’s life since she has given us this remarkable gift. Why was she writing from Greenock in 1794? What became of her? What business did the brothers help Mary and her sister Nell start after Nell’s husband, Mr. Whytlaw died? What happened to William Robertson who seemed to be single and devoted the last of his life to maintain his four unmarried sisters? The letter tells us: Elizabeth kept house for him, Christy and Menie had chronic illnesses and Mary "Jean" had some foot infirmity in the 1780s which she described in the last two pages. The letter seems incomplete as if there are missing pages or something happened to Mary "Jean" so that she never finished her story. Finally, the letter leaves open to question the written assertions of many Arthur Robertson descendants that they descend from the Struan/Strowan Robertson line. I do not see the connection, yet.
That said, I do hope this narrative will help generate further research to untangle the William Robertson’s of Virginia and find the ancestors of Arthur Robertson, Chamberlain of Glasgow. I hope you are intrigued.
Elizabeth Lee Evans February 2019
|Kirkcudbrightshire_Papers Page 1
Elizabeth Lee Evans February 2019 Page 1
Greenock August 12, 1794 My father Arthur Robertson was the son of a respectable _________________ in Edin. He was born in 170 when about 14_______________a [broad]? His father laying £ 100 as of ____________his was? Several times? before he settled at N____ By 30 he married a daughter of Thomas Yuille of Darleith and their living children Elizabeth, [William] __ [Thomas], Agnes, John, Christian, Mary __??_ Nell], Marion, Alexander, Robert, __ Marion. While my father’s family were young his business settled them to live very comfortably and to give them good educations _______ They___ Bunark? ______Which was considerable ____________as my mother’s relations were numerous and hospitable ________________and had a great export trade to America. Which____ _____ About the year 1752 when again several____ _________ ____________the export business. _____ Some of ____in the Spring of 50 , there was no bank in Glasgow about this time _____ ____ p _____ when he had made every____ easy he supposed by the accountant a smaller salary than my father___ this was a great disappointment____ of the Bank. Almost ruined it…. His family was large…
- Referring to Page 1: NOTICE THAT PAGE ONE POSSIBLE SUGGESTS OR HINTS THAT ARTHUR WAS GIVEN MONEY BECAUSE HIS FATHER LEFT TO GO “A BROAD” HARD TO TELL. AND HARD TO READ IN THE LETTER WHAT THE FATHER’S OCCUPATION WAS IN EDIN. OTHER VIRGINIA RECORDS SAY THAT WILLIAM AND CHRISTIAN FERGUSSON ROBERTSON DIED IN VA AND THAT HE WAS THE SECRETARY TO THE COUNCIL OF VIRGINIA. SOME RECORDS SUGGEST THAT HER FATHER, JOHN F. FERGUSSON, TOO DIED IN VA. SEE RECORDS FOR COLONIAL VIRGINIA. HERE IS A CONFIRMATION THAT ARTHUR MARRIED BESSIE ELIZABETH YUILLE WHOSE FATHER WAS THE 3 RD LAIRD OF DARLEITH, THOMAS YUILLE. HER MOTHER WAS ELIZABETH BOGLE WHOSE BROTHER, ROBERT, INHERITED THE DALDOWIE PROPERTY. BOGLES: JOSEPH, MALCOLM, MATTHEW, AND JOHN WENT TO VIRGINIA AND OTHERS TO THE WEST INDIES. TOBACCO KINGS. MUCH IS SAID IN THE COMING PAGES ABOUT THE BOGLES.
and the income was small. and _____ _____ for but little profit Elizabeth had from her mother in the family. …. Years old___ She was no way handsome being a good______ The small_____ _______ would been told____ ______ person but got an ______ trust in her Bank _____ that ____her hope and her legs were long___ remarkable____ in the family _____________ really make other a ____ favorite with both father and mother. There was a ____ pr____ for management in ____ my ____ of her age. My mother’s health was bad and the whole affairs of the family D [epended] a _____ Elizabeth when ________ trust _____ ______.
The Second daughter was ____ 5 years younger, sweet tempered, comely girl. She was ___ of company____ She was____ and never dis___ puted with Lizzy as she ___ the management of the family. She soon found he was ____ peace at home but of much more consequence ___ than their sister Lizzy. ...Government was____________ _____ this did not___ Nanny’s temper and ____ persuaded was one great reason for their early marriage as Andrew Buchanan was much older than her and was no way handsome, blond of blue eyes and blunt in his manners. No one could___ to this with ____ or fortune, tho everybody___ that a lovely girl of ____ ____ make
- LIZ'S MUSINGS THE ELDEST DAUGHTER, ELIZABETH, APPARENTLY RAN THE HOUSEHOLD AND IT SEEMS THERE WAS SOME DIFFICULTY BETWEEN HER AND AGNES, NANNY, THE SECOND BORN DAUGHTER. THE MOTHER, BESSIE YUILLE IS APPARENTLY SICKLY (and who would not be after all those years having children). SO, AGNES MARRIES ANDREW BUCHANAN. THERE IS A DIARY ONLINE WRITTEN AT LEAST IN PART BY ANDREW BUCHANAN AND IT DETAILS ALL THE BIRTHS AND DEATHS OF HIS WIVES AND CHILDREN. VERY SAD AND MOVING ACCOUNT. BUCHANANS ARE MENTIONED IN A BOOK ABOUT THE HISTORY OF GLASGOW AND IN THE CITY MINUTES, ARTHUR IS MENTIONED OFTEN AS THE FIRST BANK OF GLASGOW OPENED IN HIS HOUSE. LATER THERE ARE RECORDS MENTIONING HIM AS TREASURER AND OTHER OFFICES HE HELD IN THE AREA OF GLASGOW.
- I ROUGHLY CALCULATE THAT ELIZABETH WAS BORN ABOUT 1731, WILLIAM ABOUT 1732, THOMAS ABOUT 1734, AGNES ABOUT 1736, JOHN ABOUT 1738, CHRISTIAN ABOUT 1740, NELL ABOUT 1743, MARY, OUR WRITER, ABOUT 1745, ALEXANDER 1747, ROBERT 1750 AND MARION 1753. SOME RECORDS SHOW THAT THE POSSIBLE FATHER, John Robertson, b. circa 1640 OF WILLIAM ROBERTSON b. circa 1670 (father of Arthur) WAS A BARBER MAYBE HE WAS ALSO A BAILLIE AS A RECORD IN VA. REPORTS…IN EDINBURGH. I HAVE DONE SOME READING ABOUT Edinburgh BARBERS AND THE BARBER GUILD HAD VERY STRICT REGULATIONS AND ADMITTANCE BECAUSE THEY WERE THE SURGEONS OF THAT TIME THE MID-1600’S AND WANTED TO CONTROL THE PRACTICES OF MONTEBANKS.
- THE FACULTY OF MEDICINE AT EDINBURGH HAD DIFFICULTIES GETTING SUPPORT TO OPEN UNTIL 1656 AND EVEN AFTER THERE WAS RESISTANCE. INTERESTING TO NOTE THAT THREE SONS OF ARTHUR’S STUDIED MEDICINE. THE LETTER in subsequent pages, HINTS THAT THOMAS WAS A DOCTOR ABOARD SHIP; THAT ROBERT STUDIED MEDICINE AND WENT TO ANTIGUA WITH HIS BROTHER JOHN, THE DOCTOR, WHO GOT HIS DEGREE FROM EDINBURGH “JOHANNES ROBERTSON #1664 IN 1744 AND HIS SON, ARTHURUS ROBERTSON # 3516 IN 1783” FROM EDINBURGH. If the grandfather, John Robertson, was a Barber-Surgeon, then they were carrying on the tradition. CHRISTIAN FERGUSSON’S FATHER WAS A CORDONER BURGESS, A MERCHANT AND IT WAS VERY DIFFICULT TO BECOME A BURGESS AS THE ENTRANCE WAS EITHER TO EARN A LOT OF MERKS OR TO ENTER BY KINSHIP. NOBILITY ALSO APPLIED TO BECOME BURGESSES IF THEY BECAME MERCHANTS IN THE AMERICAS OR WEST INDIES.
- WHAT I DO NOT YET SEE IS CONFIRMATION OR GENEALOGICAL RECORDS LINKING STUART’S AND YOUR ROBERTSON LINE TO THE STRUAN/STROWAN LINE OF ROBERTSONS. VIRGINIA ROBERTSONS THOUGHT IT WAS TRUE AND SO DID ANTONIA ROBERTSON WHO MENTIONS IT IN WRITING IN THE DICKSON RECORDS BUT SO FAR, I HAVE NOT FOUND IT. (There are many trees on line in Ancestry that make leaps to various Robertsons who are related to the Struan line, but some are not being careful in their research.)
It was the 8th of July 1755 that Nanny was married soon after the 3, Thom, John who was ___ a surgeon with W. J. Crawford went to ___ London to finish his studies and ___ going 2 seasons there he went to Antigua where he soon after married a Miss Betsy King of one of the best families in the Island but no fortune so that tho he had a fine business whom the ___ have made a ___ fortune, his wife gay and genteel _____led him into such expensive ____ of living that little could be saved and his easy temper prevented him from doing more than___ to lay up something next year. After Nanny’s marriage Elizabeth gave up making thread but ___ to increase the little ___ she had made by it, by making nets of lawn and linen ____ and selling them. Christy was the third daughter 4 years younger ___ than Mrs. B (uchanan) now began to grow toward a woman from her good features she promised to be handsome but her face wanted expressions and unfortunately she fell into bad health part at the time she should have gone into company and acquired something of a manner which____ the long confinance of her bad health she never attained, as she was much in the country with a sister of her mother’s who lived _____ so lived…
The 4th daughter, Nelly, was a beautiful girl all her features were ____ early fine except that her mouth was rather large, but her teeth were good ____ blue eyes____ full of intelligence and ____ burned with sensibility, her person was rather…
- MUSINGS: NANNY, AGNES, MARRIED ANDREW BUCHANAN ONE OF THE TOBACCO LORD FAMILYS OF GLASGOW 8 JULY 1755. CHRISTY/CHRISTIAN OF CHRONIC POOR HEALTH WAS POSSIBLY NAMED FOR HER GRANDMOTHER, CHRISTIAN FERGUSON?
- WE HAVE NOT KNOWN UNTIL THIS LETTER, THE NAME OF DR. JOHN ROBERTSON’S WIFE, BETSEY KING. THERE ARE SEVERAL BOOKS ON LINE ABOUT ANTIGUA AND ONE IN PARTICULAR THAT LAYS OUT THE FAMILY LINEAGE OF FAMILIES ON ANTIGUA AND THE KING FAMILY IS MENTIONED. A DIFFERENT ELIZABETH KING, WIDOW, MARRIED A SCOT NAMED GRANT. OTHER BOOKS ON LINE DESCRIBE WILLS AND SLAVE OWNERSHIP WITH NAMES OF SLAVES. JOHN AND ARTHUR AND CHILDREN WERE SLAVE OWNERS…A TERRIBLE TERRIBLE REALITY OF PLANTATION LIFE IN THE WEST INDIES. THERE ARE SLAVE CHILDREN WITH ROBERTSON NAMES BUT I DO NOT KNOW IF THEY ARE RELATED TO OUR JOHN OR ARTHUR.
genteel than elegant, she was the most admired and often in the Best Company in town, indeed she had a natural gentility about her which made her the more noticed than even her look entitled her to, but she had too much sensibility for her Ease of mind, her affection was Early won by a young gentleman of the name of [ B], brother to an intimate companion, the son only of Where? Attachment they would not allow herself to doubt, this made her keep at a distance other young man who deserved more encouragement. This man tyed her and ___ with her for more than 7 years till both her health and her temper _____ and at last married another. What she suffered on this occasion and form the whole of his behavior to her gave a tincture to the whole of her future life, it ingrained in her temper and gave her a look of anxiety which she never entirely got the better of; and she but in the Bloom of life- her beauty was faded. I was not quite 2 years younger than Nelly. We went through all of Education together as we grew up, we were a much attached by friendship as we were connected by relationship a we had the same companions and in general were in the same company, when a lively manner and something of a natural manner made up for my want of other attractions. When Nell and I were separated which was often the case, as we had many relations in the country, we kept up a constant correspondence by letters. Yet through her I was ____ ______ ____ in every company when a lively manner something of a natural humorer made up for my want of other attractions
- LIZ'S MUSINGS: MARY MUCH ADMIRES HER SISTER, NELL WHO FALLS FOR A JERK WHO LEADS HER ON WHO IS THE BROTHER OF A CLOSE FRIEND OF THEIRS WHOSE NAME STARTS WITH P OR B? HERE MARY SAYS SHE IS NOT QUITE 2 YEARS YOUNGER THAN NELL, SO 1745. I WONDER WHERE GIRLS WENT TO SCHOOL. CO-ED? PRIVATE OR PUBLIC?
Many of which I have Nell by me and read with Melancholy pleasure. A little time before my sister Nanny (Agnes) was married my father got an addition to his income by being made Chamberlain to the town of Glasgow but while his (predecessor) in office lived which was some years, he enjoyed the best half of the salary. This office did not prevent his keeping the shop? ______ The ____ ___ of it were never but small. And then I cannot but remark the kindness of Providence in Presidi??? For my father’s family for he was never rich and never knew what it was to be in straits. In 1758 my eldest brother came home from Virginia in bad health in ____ 59 we went to Darleith—my mother’s brothers where he confined in a very the___________ way?? ___ ___ 60 when in [ W.] Yuille’s marriage he (William) took a small manse in the village of Anderson which my sister E kept for him, and Nell and I were with them by turns___ I was just 15, reading for my brother’s amusement was my frequent employment while at Anderson, his remarks on what I read on ___ my weak judgment and gave me a relish for reading which has remained with me to this ____. For 2 winters my brother William continued at it, but in spring 62 took a jaunt to Bath which had a good effect— About this time my 4th brother Alexander, a most amenable Boy fell into a decline. He had always had a delicate constitution so that nobody was alarmed___ a short time before his Death, which happened June 62, I was at this time in the country with my Aunt Scott and hearing of Sandie’s______to go down, but my brother W. who visited me at that time prevailed on me to stay in the country. His Death was the first sore heart I ever had. He was but 2 years younger than I… just 13 when he dyed. A tall, handsome, delicately formed youth. After spending his years at home my Brother Wm.
- LIZ'S MUSINGS: IN 1758 WILLIAM ROBERTSON CAME HOME FROM VIRGINIA. WE DON’T KNOW HOW LONG HE HAD BEEN THERE OR FOR WHAT PURPOSE. IF BORN IN ABOUT 1732, HE WAS ABOUT 26 WHEN RETURNING TO GLASGOW ILL. HAD HE GONE THERE ALONE OR WITH ONE OF HIS UNCLES: WILLIAM OR ARCHIBALD WHAT ARE THE FIRST RECORDS WE HAVE OF WHEN THE UNCLES ARRIVED THERE.
- SPECULATING… IF ARTHUR, THE ELDER, AT 14 YEARS OF AGE, RECEIVED THE £100 FROM HIS FATHER, WILLIAM ROBERTSON, THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN ABOUT THE YEAR 1717-18. DO WE KNOW OF ANY WILLIAMS THAT APPEARED ON THE SCENE IN VIRGINIA AT THAT TIME? (IN CASE MARY’S LETTER DOES SAY ARTHUR’S FATHER GOES A BROAD.)
- DARLEITH THE YUILLE FAMILY SEAT IS MENTIONED FOR THE SECOND TIME IN THE PAGES. CLEARLY, A CLOSE ENOUGH RELATIONSHIP WITH HIS MOTHER’S BROTHER THAT WILLIAM MAY GO THERE TO RECUPERATE. THEN, WHEN W. YUILLE MARRIED, WILLIAM LEAVES AND TAKES A HOUSE IN ANDERSON/ANDERSTOUN AND MARY READS TO HIM ALOUD WHILE CONVALESCING.
- 1762…THIS IS A LONG ILLNESS FOR WILLIAM R. HE GOES TO BATH, ENGLAND AND FEELS BETTER. THEN JUNE 1762 WHEN NO ONE WAS APPARENTLY PAYING ATTENTION POOR ALEXANDER, YOUNG, TALL, HANDSOME, SLENDER AND DELICATE, DIES. MARY IS AT HER AUNT SCOTT’S BUT EAGER TO GO TO SANDY BUT IS PREVENTED BY WILLIAM. MARY SAYS POIGNANTLY,
- “THIS WAS MY FIRST SORE HEART.”
to ____ Antigua at the earnest entreaty of my brother John who was concerned that climate would restore his health nor was he mistaken in his opinion. In Jan of 64 he left Glasgow to the great disbelief of all the family who all thought there was little hope of any of them ever seeing him again and even doubted his _____ _______ Antigua___________________ I went again to my Aunt Scotts (Mary’s mother’s sister married a Scott) where a bad fever and the consequences of it kept me weakly all the summer. On my return to town, I found Nell was admired and_____ by everybody. My mother’s relations, the Bogles, who were the Patrons of all the amusements in town, took Particular notice of her, and W? Bogles marriage with Jenny Scott an intimate companion of ours made the connection more close. They lived just by us and kept a great____ of genteel company and Nell and I were the ____ of their parties. Nell had had a good voice and sang sweetly. The ____ by and singing was this time the fashion in every company. I had neither good voice nor ear but sang ___ songs with some humour, which were often more relished by the company that finer san…sic?? But the notice ____ taken of us abroad had a bad effect at home. Eliza was not so often____ out as…
- LIZ'S MUSINGS: BESSIE YUILLE ROBERTSON’S SISTER, HELEN YUILLE, MAY HAVE MARRIED CHARLES SCOTT SO I AM PRESUMING THAT IT THE “AUNT SCOTT” REFERRED TO SEVERAL TIMES IN THIS NARRATIVE.
- BOGLES ARE BESSIE’S MOTHER’S FAMILY AND SEEM TO PLAY AN ACTIVE ROLE IN THE ROBERTSON’S LIVES. THE ROBERTSON YOUNG LADIES RUN IN A CIRCLE OF WEALTHY MERCHANTS CALLED “TOBACCO LORDS’ TRADING IN WEST INDIES AND VIRGINIA (ALSO LANDED GENTRY) REFERRING BACK TO PAGE 1. I LOOKED AT THE LIST OF PROVOSTS FOR EDINBURGH AND THE BLURRED WORD IS PROBABLY NOT PROVOST BECAUSE THERE ARE NO ROBERTSON’S IN THAT LIST OF EDINBURGH PROVOSTS.
Nell and I did not___ being the ___ at home when we were so well amused abroad. I confess we were more in company than perhaps became girls of our small fortunes; and I am persuaded neither father nor mother would have allowed it but ___ the hope that Nell’s Beauty would soon procure her
a good husband, which I doubt ___ would have been the case had not her attachment to W. B.____ made that ___ with too much disdain. Men who ____ looked on us much ___ inferiors but who were proper enough matches for her. E’s behavior on these occasions was natural enough tho not quite generous, or grievous and our resentment at her endeavors to keep us at home, when we were invited where we expected much amusement was perhaps to keen??? Probably too we imputed to her influence what was only our mother’s Prudence in not allowing us particularly Nell to go to every Public and Private company to which she was invited___ certain it a jealousy took place a ____ as at this time that was never thoroughly ____ It ___ vexed me still and more so when I think that it made my worthy father often _______. Just before William went to Antigua 2 nephews of our father’s came home from Virginia for their Education and lived at my father’s and their Education along with my youngest Brother Robert and sister Menie.Bob was a fine scholar with a good deal of humour and a turn for mimicry. He was bred a surgeon and going to Antigua to my Brother John. After staying 5 years in the family my 2 cousins returned to America their Native Country. For the first two or three years my brother W was in Antigua he ____ in business. But a ____ which destroyed half the town of St. John’s…
- MUSINGS: WE DO NOT KNOW WHO “LET ON “NELL FOR 7 YEARS… A MYSTERY. (In 8/17/1779 there was a fire that destroyed half of Saint Johns, Antigua) THIS IS A KEY PASSAGE THAT MAY HELP UNTANGLE THE WILLIAMS IN VIRGINIA. IN JUNE OF 1764 ON PAGE 6 WILLIAM LEFT GLASGOW FOR ANTIGUA. MARY SAYS HERE THAT JUST BEFORE THAT DATE TWO NEPHEWS OF HER FATHER’S CAME FROM VIRGINIA AND SHE SAYS THEY STUDIED WITH THE YOUNGEST TWO CHILDREN OF ARTHURS AND SHE CLAIMS THEY STAYED 5 YEARS THEN RETURNED BACK TO VIRGINIA. STAYED MAY OR JUNE 1764 TO 1767 OR 1768. VIRGINIA ACCOUNTS SAY WILLIAM ROBERTSON STAYED 2 YEARS ABOUT 1766.
To the brink of ruin. In 67 he came home. This affair we thought so desperate must be resolved to bury himself in the woods of Dominion? He had taken leave of his friends and gone to Greenock to sail for the West Indies when an offer was made him by Glassford Gordon and Co. of a Partnership and Management of their concerns in the West Indies. This was looked on by ___ ___ an interposition of ____ in his favor. The business promised well and did till the American War broke out and that time not a ship belonging to the company came home but it brought presents (presence) to his father’s family and for some years all seemed to go well.
In 1769 the beginning of many misfortunes to our family. July 14 my sister Buchanan was delivered of a boy. She ___ immediately and dyed on the 1___ of August aged 34.
The awful scene made an ___ on my mind never to be erased. She was a favorite sister and a woman of most sweet disposition. She had had 7 children but only 3 boys survived her. George the eldest went to Jamaica where he is doing well as a…
- GLASSFORD WAS ONE OF THE BIG-NAME TOBACCO LORD FAMILIES. IF MARY’S DATE IS CORRECT THEN WE CAN ESTIMATE AGNES’ BIRTH YEAR AND HER DEATH DATE, AND AT LEAST ONE OTHER SISTER’S AGE IS CALCULATED FROM AGNES…LATER IN THE LETTER.
- NOTE: 1769, SHE SAYS IS THE BEGINNING OF MANY MISFORTUNES:
- MARY’S MUCH-LOVED SISTER NANNY, AGNES MARRIED TO ANDREW BUCHANAN DIES DURING THE BIRTH OF HER SON, ROBERTSON WHO SURVIVES. LATER SHE MENTIONS HIM, Robertson, AGAIN AND THE COMPANY IN GLASGOW THAT HE WORKED FOR. GEORGE WENT TO JAMAICA.
Planter. The second dyed young. The child of which she ___ was named Robertson and soon became the favorite of all his mother’s relatives and this ____ ____ ____ has ___ ___ to him ever since. He is now a fine young man Partner and Manager of the Great Koth_____Cotton Work___ My youngest sister Menie was about 15 when Mrs. B dyed. She was a lovely sweet girl very little but till then very healthy from that time she became delicate and continued so all her life. This was scarce nine months after the death of our sister that met ____ still more afflicting wp? In our ___ mother, she had been long complaining but was not worse than ____ the day of her death. She was sitting in her chair talking to an old servant when she complained of a sudden______ Tintwep?? E. gave her a flagon of wine when she walked across the room and threw? Herself on the bed and seemed to fall to a faint. E. was alarmed and called her sisters who all came but vain was all our efforts to restore her. She was gone forever. This was a dreadful mark in _____. My father good man appeared composed but was afflicted with severe headaches for a long time after. It was on the 21 st of April we lost our mother and a melancholy summer we spent. My father soon___ know what he had conceited (conceded) in leadership to his wife ___so that she was considerably in Debt and that he ---- becoming was_____ the company and visiting was in a manner given up and all attention was hoped? to make our worthy father Easy and in this we had the happiness of succeeding and ____ in a great measure.
- MARY TELLS US THAT ROBERTSON WAS A FAVORITE OF AGNES’ FAMILY AND THAT HE AT PRESENT IN 1794? IS PARTNER AND MANAGER OF THE GREAT KOTH___CLOTH WORK. ANYONE KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THIS COMPANY? SO FAR, I COULD NOT FIND MUCH. ( Rothesay Cotton Mills) MARION, MENIE’S BIRTH YEAR IS ABOUT 1754 ? IF SHE WAS 15 IN 1769. 9 MONTHS LATER IN 1770 OR SO BESSIE YUILLE ROBERTSON DIED ON 21 APRIL.
Regained his health and thankfulness and our great _____year? Easier in his circumstances. April 71 our cousin Billy Robertson who had been Educated in the family came home from Virginia and helped to make us more cheerful. In Sept my brother Wm came home and tho his affairs were not in the best situation we spent a more happy winter than we had for some years before.
It was in Spring 72 then after a melancholy parting we were gratefully surprised next to see him return. A letter from W. Glassford brought him back and he soon after went out in a more eligible way than he had proposed. His kind generosity made our parting easy.
My nephew Arthur Robertson was at this time at home with us for his education and was a great amazement to his Grandfather. In 72 my poor sister Menie’s health got another knock by the Death of an intimate companion Peggy Craig W. Kennedy. She was not a year married and dyed of her first child. From that time Menie’s healthy grew gradually worse.
In 73, W. James Whytlaw who had long been
- LIZ'S MUSINGS: IN APRIL 1771 OUR COUSIN, BILLY ROBERTSON WHO HAD BEEN EDUCATED IN THE FAMILY CAME HOME FROM VIRGINIA. THIS MAY BE AN IMPORTANT FACT IN ORDER TO HELP UNTANGLE THE WILLIAM ROBERTSONS IN VIRGINIA. RECALL, TOO THAT WILLIAM ROBERTSON, MARY’S BROTHER, ALSO HAD BEEN IN VIRGINIA; WE DO NOT KNOW HOW LONG HE HAD BEEN THERE. BUT WE DO KNOW HE RETURNED TO GLASGOW ILL IN 1758 IT SEEMS HE DID NOT RETURN TO VIRGINIA TO LIVE, BUT RATHER SPENT YEARS IN ANTIGUA AND THEN LIVED IN GLASGOW AND BURNTISLAND IN ORDER TO SUPPORT HIS UNMARRIED SISTERS.
- SPRING 1772, ARTHUR N. GRANT ROBERTSON, MARY’S NEPHEW COMES TO LIVE WITH THE FAMILY IN GLASGOW PRESUMABLY FROM ANTIGUA, W.I., TO GET HIS EDUCATION. HE IS ABOUT 13 YEARS OLD…BORN 1759. SEEMS HE BROUGHT MUCH JOY TO HIS GRANDFATHER, ARTHUR ROBRETSON. I HAVE NOT YET RESEARCHED MARGARET CRAIG W. KENNEDY. PRESUMABLY CRAIG IS HER MAIDEN NAME. 1773 JAMES WYTLAW BEGINS TO PLAY A ROLE IN THE ROBERTSON FAMILY AND HIS FATHER IN SUBSEQUENT PAGES OWNED A HOUSE IN THE PLANTATION, GLASGOW.
- NOTE: MARY CALLS IT PLANTATION BEFORE JOHN ROBERTSON WHO SHE DOES NOT NAME AS A RELATIVE] BUYS THE PROPERTY AND CALLED IT PLANTATION. QUESTIONS ABOUT THAT?
an admirer of my sister Nell’s sought for opportunity of being introduced to her but was unfortunate in the friends he chose. In 74 he made another attempt and succeeded in getting introduced to the family with my father’s approbation. At this time, I was in the country but was fully informed by letter of all that happened. Mr. Whytlaw was a man of fine understanding and well cultivated mind and fine disposition but was in pain of fortune it was thought a great one, his father was supposed to be very rich. ___ James his eldest son who fathered his____ as a saddler business was esteemed heir both of this____ a trade? but he was not a fashionable man. His person was rather diminutive and his manners tho gentle would that ____good company alone can give. His companions too were a sort of very dissipated young ___ But my father when charity??was great for young people, hoped that by ____ the wife of his choice. The___ ___ change his plan of life which I make no doubt would have been the case…had not misfortune___ unlooked for mistaken him. Tho my father was far from perfect? RIP IN PAGE Nell to accept of ___ he left the matter wholly to herself, yet those knew it was this___ in deed the wish of all the family and this had more effect on her than if Stronger arguments had been used. I came to town on July___ and was an advocate for WW___
BIG RIP IN PAGE
Objections___ at length overcome and on the 23 of April 1775 April 75 she was married. It was I may say one of the happiest periods ______________of my life. I had long wished to see Nell settled in life and now thought my wishes accomplished. The first summer was spent ___ and jaunting visiting and entertaining company ___was the winter. But by the spring both then began to complain. The second son___ter they were bother so ___ it was____ for me to ___ close with them___ Beginning of 77 my brother Robert came home from Antigua in bad health and my…
- LIZ'S MUSINGS: JAMES WYTLAW IS NOTHING IF NOT PERSISTANT FROM 1773, 74 AND FINALLY IN APRIL 1775, HE AND NELLY, THE BEAUTIFUL SISTER, MARRY. MUCH IS SAID REGARDING MARY’S OBSERVATIONS OF JAMES; THE FAMILY’S REACTIONS TO THIS PROPOSAL AND A SMALL WINDOW INTO NOT ONLY THE CUSTOMS OF THE DAY WHICH NECESSITATED AN INTRODUCTION TO NELL THROUGH THE FATHER, ARTHUR, BUT ALSO A GLIMPSE INTO ARTHUR’S PATIENCE AND THE LATITUDE HE GAVE NELL TO MAKE THE DECISION FOR HERSELF WHETHER TO MARRY OR NOT. MARY DESCRIBES HER JOY AT HER SISTER’S MARRIAGE THEN HINTS THAT ALTHOUGH SHE LIVED WITH THEM FOR AWHILE, THE LIVING SITUATION WITH MARY’S CONSTANT PRESENCE, DID NOT WORK OUT. 1777… SHE DOES NOT WRITE MUCH ABOUT ROBERT ROBERTSON AND MORE RESEARCH IS NEEDED ON HIM.
Brother Thomas came home the ___ of [Cork} he ___ not ___as a Merchant and had been some years in the Navy. He was ____ of Marines some years before his Death. _____ ____ or those ___ years and he had hopes that he ___ have been comfortably settled as a surgeon in Glasgow, but bad health partly the effect of hard drinking obliged him to go to sea. He ____ from Greenock surgeon of a privateer that after one____ ____ is supposed to be ___ foundered on the coast of America as the war---- never more heard of. In winter 78 W. Whytlaw’s father dyed and we went to live at the Plantation which had belong to his father. The American War which was now become serious made a very material _______ in Mr. Wytlaw’s prospects. The great export for saddles was to America and their ____ what goods___ spoiling in his hand and his____ in
trade was not _________ but becoming of lip value, while the hopes of the Peace Pre______ from _____ ____ In Spring of 79 my poor sister Menie’s health___. BIG RIP. Considerably worse. She was ordered to try sun bathing and I went with her to _____ Ferry. In the meantime, the infirmities of age began gradually to gain on my father so that his business became a ____ He began to think of retiring from it and Glasgow and settling somewhere in the country RIP ____ Menie’s delicacy of constitution was an inducement to the Plan. In August 79 my Brother William came home from Antigua when the American war had ____ ____ his business and B____ked the hopes he had founded on his connection with W. Glassford.
- COMMENTS: NOT MUCH WAS SHARED ABOUT HER BROTHER ROBERT, AS AN ADULT, BUT AS A CHILD, SHE DESCRIBES AS HUMOROUS AND A GOOD SCHOLAR. 1777 WELL INTO THE “AMERICAN REVOLUTION” AS WE CALL IT IN THE U.S. NOT MUCH IS SAID ABOUT IT EXCEPT HOW IT AFFECTED THE ROBERTSON BUSINESS.
- SOMEWHERE BETWEEN 1777 AND 78 THOMAS, MARY’S BROTHER, CAME HOME. SHE INDICATED IN A PREVIOUS LETTER THAT HE HAD MARRIED. WHAT HAPPENED TO HIS WIFE AND OR FAMILY? HE APPARENTLY STUDIED MEDICINE AS HAD ROBERT (HINTED AT) BUT BECAUSE OF EXCESSIVE DRINKING WAS “OBLIGED” TO GO TO SEA AND PRACTICE MEDICINE THERE? OBLIGED BY THE FAMILY OR WHAT?
- WHAT PRIVATEERS FOUNDERED ON THE COAST OF AMERICA… PRESUMABLY MANY DURING THE WAR BUT IT WOULD BE INTERESTING TO SEE IF THERE ARE LISTS OF THE SAILORS WHO DIED? WINTER 1778 W. JAMES WHYTLAW’S FATHER DIED AND “WE MOVED TO LIVE AT THE PLANTATION” WHO: MARY, NELL AND JAMES?
- SPRING OF 1779 SISTER MENIE’S HEALTH IS NOT GOOD TO THEY GO TO?? ANYONE ANY IDEAS OF THIS LOCATION? SOMETHING FERRY?
- AUGUST 1779 BAD EFFECTS ON WILLIAM’S BUSINESS WITH GLASSFORD COMPANY AND HE RETURNS TO GLASGOW FROM ANTIGUA.
As he was not in good health nor ___ high spirits, the ___ approved the plan of our leaving Glasgow and as the Doctors gave some hopes that sun bathing might be useful to both Christy and Menie I was at last determined that we would go to the Coast of Fife and we found at Burntisland a house that exactly ___ us. And in May 1780 the whole family left our old habitation in Glasgow with out much regret, but what we felt at parting with Mr and Mrs. Whytlaw yet we had the satisfaction of leaving them both in better health than for a long while before the Salu____ of the ____ at Burnstisland was warming _____ Y BIG BLUR ____ ___ bathing? Just what we missed when with the change of air____ BLURRY ____ this seemed to have a good effect on our_____ too was tried for Menie in the Harvers tin BLUR But he grew more worn? BIG BLUR During winter ___ from that time was ____ out of bed. BLURRY _______ Arthur Grant in ____ ____who sent to Fife with ____ to Edinburgh in winter to [? Phys] In summer 81 Mr. Whytlaw let his house at the Plantation to our [ friend?] Mr. John Robertson who after would purchase it. RIP and took a small house in Burntisland for some months. This was a Pleasant summer, A fleet of 12 sails of RIP the line with ____ 300 Merchant ships lay off in the ___ between us and Leith? RIP for about 2 months RIP ___ the end of 82 my Brother William quite tired of being idle formed a connection with [Hendrys] _____Manufacturers in Paisley and went then to ___ In Spring 83 our worthy father began visibly to decline BLURRED The 11th of April...
- LIZ's MUSINGS:
- 1780 ARTHUR ROBERTSON, MARY’S FATHER, BEGINS TO VISIBLY FAIL. SO, IN MAY OF 1780 THEY LEAVE THEIR HOME IN GLASGOW IN ORDER TO HAVE FRESH SEA AIR AND SUNSHINE AT BURNTISLAND. MARY SAYS THAT 1780 ARTHUR N. GRANT ROBERTSON, GRANDSON, MARY’S NEPHEW WENT TO FIFE WITH THEM, THEN ON TO EDINBURGH PRESUMABLY TO CONTINUE HIS MEDICAL STUDIES AT THE UNIVERSITY. IN BURNTISLAND THEY RENTED A SMALL HOUSE WITHIN WALKING DISTANCE AND IN SIGHT OF MANY MERCHANT SHIPS.
- INTERESTINGLY, IN SUMMER OF 1781 MR. WHYTLAW RENTS HIS HOUSE TO OUR FRIEND, MR. JOHN ROBERTSON. I PUZZLED OVER THIS JOHN ROBERTSON FOR A LONG TIME. IS THIS JOHN ROBERTSON THE FATHER WHO IS NOT RELATED TO THEM BUT HIS SON IS RELATED BECAUSE THE SON OR THE FATHER?? MARRIED ANOTHER YUILLE? A SISTER OR A COUSIN TO BESSIE?? I AM CONFUSED. THIS JOHN ROBERTSON LATER BUYS MR. WHYTLAW’S HOUSE AT PLANTATION. WHAT WAS THE NAME OF THE HOUSE?
MARY IMPLIES THAT HER BROTHER, WILLIAM, HAS BEEN WITH THEM AWHILE BUT THAT BY 1782 WAS BORED AND FORMED A CONNECTION WITH HENDRY’S? I DON’T FIND MUCH IF ANYTHING ABOUT THIS COMPANY IN PAISLEY.
- IN SPRING OF 1783 ARTHUR TAKES A TURN FOR THE WORSE IN HIS HEALTH.
…put anend to this ____ life___ that he fell asleep in Jesus was BL____t. My Brother W. and Mr. and Mrs. Whytlaw arrived at Burntisland that night t____ some time with us when it was ____ in a family consultation what my sisters and I should remain in Burntisland. July 83 my Brother John with his wife, a daughter came home from Antigua. He was not a little vexed to find that his son had married while at his studys in Edin. And his wife was a Miss Steuart-Barclay of Colerney of a genteel family, but she brought little money. But had brought him a Daughter before his father’s arrival. SMUDGE The Doctor ___ in Edin till May 84 when he ___ carried his wife and Daughter to London and was joined in the visit by his son, his wife and new____ Daughter and all started together for Antigua except the Doctor’s daughter who staid in England for her Education. SMUDGE In May 84 my brother wm. Took up house in Paisley when I staid with him for some time but on RIP/BLUR to Burntisland we soon grew tired of living___RIP/SMUDGE and finding the house of [??] Donald to let he took the tack of it and my sister Eliza, Christy, Menie and I joined him there. I____ 84 the house was large and pleasantly situated on the RIP between Pa isley and Glasgow. We had a RIP morning garden and the fine Park. The ___ RIP garden and as my broth’s business was very flourishing, we thought ourselves happily placed in the midst of our friends and Mr. and Mrs. Whytlaw were very often with us.
- MUSINGS: 11 APRIL 1783, MARY SAYS HER FATHER DIED THIS WAY, “HE FELL ASLEEP IN JESUS…” I PRESUME, CHRISTY, MENIE, MARY WERE WITH HIM AT BURNTISLAND AND MAYBE ELIZA, TOO BECAUSE MARY GOES ON TO SAY THAT WILLIAM AND HER SISTER NELL AND JAMES WHYTLAW ARRIVED THAT SAME NIGHT. THE SISTERS REMAINED IN BURNTISLAND TO LIVE.
- JULY 1783 MARY’S BROTHER, DR. JOHN ROBERTSON, HIS WIFE, BETSEY KING, AND AN UN-NAMED DAUGHTER “CAME HOME” FROM ANTIGUA. [I HAVE LOOKED BUT NOT FOUND DOCUMENTS TO SUPPORT THE LIVES OF JOHN AND ELIZABETH’S OTHER CHILDREN. ON LINE IT IS SUGGESTED THAT THE DAUGHTER’S NAME WAS CHRISTINA; POSSIBLY JOHN HAD TWO OTHER SONS BUT UNCONFIRMED; WILLIAM AND DUNCAN. CHRISTINA STAYED IN ENGLAND TO STUDY--A PROGRESSIVE PLAN FOR THAT TIME PERIOD?)
- IN THE NARRATVIE, APPARENTLY, MARY’S BROTHER JOHN, WAS ANGRY TO FIND THAT HIS SON, ARTHUR N.G. ROBERTSON HAD MARRIED WHILE STILL STUDYING IN EDINBURGH; HAD A WIFE, A MISS STEUART-BARCLAY OF COLERNEY OR COLERNIE WAS OF A GENTEEL FAMILY BUT WHO HAD NO FORTUNE.
ON AN ASIDE BUT RELATED TO ARTHUR’S NEW WIFE, MY HUSBAND, STUART’S COUSIN FROM LEWIS, HAS TRACED THE BARCLAY’S BACK TO HISTORICAL SCOTTISH ROYALTY AND I HAVE WORKED TO TRACE THE STEUART LINEAGE. ITAPPEARS TO LEAD TO CAMPBELLS OF LOUDOUN, CARMICHAELS, WILLIAM WALLACE’S SISTER, TO DARNLEYS, HAMILTONS, LENNOXES, TO JAMES II KING OF SCOTLAND. MUCH VERIFICATION IS STILL NEEDED. MY HUSBAND, THE COUSIN FROM LEWIS AND THE COUSIN FROM DUNFERMLINE ARE THE 5TH GREAT GRANDCHILDREN OF ARTHUR AND ELIZABETH STEUART-BARCLAY ROBERTSON. [THE THREE COUSINS ARE CONFIRMED BY PAPER PEDIGREE AS WELL AS DNA]
- MARY TELLS IN THE NARRATIVE: IN MAY 1784 BOTH BROTHERS JOHN AND WILLIAM MADE LIFE CHANGES. JOHN, BETSEY, ARTHUR, ELIZABETH AND A NEW DAUGHTER (ARTHUR’S FIRST DAUGHTER WAS EUPHEMIA WHO MARRIED JOSEPH PURCELL OF TRINIDAD.) LEFT FOR ANTIGUA, BUT JOHN’S DAUGHTER, POSSIBLY CHRISTINA, STAYED IN ENGLAND BUT I HAVE NOT FOUND RECORDS FOR HER. THE FOLLOWING REFERENCE CONTAINS FAMILY INFORMATION ABOUT THE ROBERTSONS, GRANTS AND KINGS OF ANTIGUA.
- The History of the Island of Antigua: One of the Leeward Caribbees ...
https://books.google.com/books?id=NoVIAQAAMAAJVere Langford Oliver IN MAY OF 1784, WILLIAM RENTS A NICE HOUSE SOMEWHERE BETWEEN GLASGOW AND PAISLEY. AND EVENTUALLY THE SISTERS, ELIZA, CHRISTY, MARY AND MENIE LEAVE BURNTISLAND AND MOVE IN WITH WILLIAM. MARY JOYFULLY DESCRIBES THE GARDEN AND NEARBY PARK. HER SISTER, NELL AND HUSBAND, MR. WHYTLAW OFTEN VISITED.
A most tattered page and large portion of right side of page ripped off and missing. The ___ of 5____ memorable ___and ___ BIG SMUDGE to come home. I fell but keeping ___ of the ___ on my feet while [burned] it so much ____ recovered the use of it. ____part at the Taken with this ____ illness and I ---- kept me from living with Nell With her ____ ty at this time Being kept___ bed was better and Close confined to a cane. After________- Wytlaw died the P of 1786 RIP Poor widow. HOLE IN PAGE My brother ____ Her __________________ Him. So he gave up____ ____ Pardonned immediately after the funeral. What he could draw no part Of her____ Just at that time, He wished to do Something___ by this time my Brother’s Business in Paisley had taken A bad turn which it never recovered. After much consultation a plan was laid for her beginning a [TAMBEAR WISK??] The following year, In this summer, I was ordered to the old _____ to try warm salt water for my feet. Mrs. W. accompanied me and we ____ there till in Oct and the ___ the winter with us ___Donald? But went ____ house of her own in Glasgow at Whitsunday 87 where we immediately began the TAMBEAR, LAMBEAR, FAMBEAR work to whom both my brothers thankfully contributed And we began with a good prospect of success which HOLE T____a good effect both on h__ health and spirits. In P_____ Sept 88 a ___rst that month trying a new HOLE for My feet of warm BIG TEAR but without any ____ ____ on the ____ without my____ was take____ I went in …. MUSINGS: MARY WRITES MORE OF HER FOOT INJURY BUT NOT SURE WHAT IT IS. 1786 MR. WHYTLAW DIED AND MARY HAD BEEN UNABLE TO LIVE WITH NELL BECAUSE OF HER FEET. SHE EXPRESSES HER SORROW FOR THE WIDOW. IT SEEMS THE BROTHERS INVEST MONEY AND TIME IN A PLAN FOR NELL TO HAVE A BUSINESS BUT I CANNOT MAKE SENSE OF THE WORD DESCRIBING THE BUSINESS? ANY IDEAS? POSSIBLY NELL AND SHE WENT BACK TO THE COAST FOR THE SALT WATER TREATMENT FOR MARY’S FEET UNTIL OCTOBER. THEY SPEND THE WINTER AT DONALD HOUSE RENTED BY WILLIAM. THEN APPARENTLY NELL HAD HER OWN HOME IN GLASGOW AND SHE AND MARY RETURNED TO IT ON WHITSUNDAY 1787. I MUST LOOK UP WHITSUNDAY. IN GENERAL, WE DON’T USE THESE CHURCH CALENDAR TERMS ANY MORE. THERE THEY INITIATED WHATEVER BUSINESS IT WAS AND IT APPARENTLY WAS SUCCESSFUL AS THEIR SPIRITS AND HEALTH IMPROVED. SEPTEMBER OF 88 MARY IS STILL DEALING WITH FOOT ISSUES.
…ing had symptoms where____ Just an end to this ___life. Favorite____ they comp___ My th_____ was sold___ Menie and I___ Eliza and I staid in ___18th of Dec when we returned To Brother Co-partnership with De Hardings___ he withdrew From the business in ___ It was now Thought. Property in Edin his __Donald living___ was too expensive RIP no [banns]? For the Fortune of many of a Genteel ____ was it ____ ___ in the Town of Stirling. But had brought___. We found great diff____ arrival My poor sis HOLE___ ___ we When ___ in held a bed on which the ___ lay? ____ ____ safely the evening. The second day ____ continued Tolerably Easy though the ____ summer ___but had a sore winter. I ____ left her night and Had the ___ to see herpain increase and her strength___ in _____ daily. The 5th of April put an end to her long r___ illness which the ___ with exemplary patience. She left what ever we had between us Christy and I. Very soon after Menies death a ___ happened b/w E. and the rest of us which even As is generally the case from a ____ suffering ____. She was much affronted that we left town with a resolution not to return except for a visit. My brother the Doctor who had long spoken of coming home wrote ___ the ____ leaving____ in June expressed RIP that we join them in Glasgow and ___RIP one family. But my brother did not____ of his own and C and I ____ to ____ ___ however liked the P___ came home___ the Doctor____ MUSINGS; BECAUSE THERE ARE ONLYA FEW LEGIBLE FRAGMENTS TO THIS PAGE; THE NARRATIVE APPEARS TO JUMP AROUND. MOST OF THE PAGE IS MISSING. MARY ROBERTSON, THE WRITER, REFERS TO AN END OF LIFE AND TO SOMETHING OF MARY’S THAT WAS SOLD OR OF WHOSE? IN DECEMBER OF 1787 OR 8 MAYBE? MARY, MENIE, ? , AND ELIZA WENT TO THEIR BROTHER? WHO HAD BEEN WORKING FOR DE HARDINGS? WILLIAM PRESUMABLY, SHE SAYS LEAVES THE BUSINESS AND THEY FIND THE DONALD HOUSE TOO EXPENSIVE. AGAIN, SHE REFERS TO A “GENTEEL” _____ AND A REFERENCE TO THE TOWN OF STIRLING? DID THEY MOVE THERE? NEXT SHE DESCRIBES THE PAINFUL BUT PATIENT DEATH OF HER SISTER MENIE. PRESUMABLY THERE WERE CONFLICTS BETWEEN THE SISTERS INCLUDING CHRISTY AND MARY. ONE SISTER IS AFFRONTED BECAUSE THEY LEFT GLASGOW? THIS MAY BE ELIZA? MARY WROTE HOPEFULLY ABOUT A VISIT FROM HER DOCTOR BROTHER IN JUNE SO THEY MIGHT ALL BE UNITED AS ONE FAMILY BUT IT SEEMS THAT HE DID NOT COME HOME. I FEEL FRUSTRATED AND SAD TO END THE ROBERTSON STORY ON THIS DISSONANT CHORD. The intention of the transcription was to learn more about this narrative’sRobertson family and to reveal the family individuals as living breathing, feeling human beings; also, to elaborate on the history and times surrounding their lives. But it is also the intention to stimulate interest and to inspire and pique more input from others more qualified than I, to peek into this windowand view a fascinating bit of history from a personal and intimate primary source and expand on it. Mary’s Narrative tears at my heart, because there is no resolution and she leaves us with many questions. Are there more pages that are simply missing? Can we find out more about the family and theirlives? She writes from Greenock in 1794 but tells the family story from the 1750s to 94. Can we fill in the gaps with historical information? Did Mary resolve her foot problem? When did she die? Was William content in his own life or was his life devoted to his brief successes in business and his four unmarried or widowed sisters? How long did he live? Were the sisters able to remain close and resolve their conflicts? In 1794 she would have been about 50 years old. Why was she in Greenockat the time that she dates the narrative, and was she living with anyone from the family? Did Dr. John return to or help out his siblings? Who are the Williams’ who travel to and live in Virginia? Can we untangle them; their ancestry and descendants, and celebrate with accuracy their interesting contributions to the beginnings of life and government in Virginia? How did Dr. Arthur Robertson, the younger get hold of her narrative? Presumably Dr. Arthur passed on the narrative to Margaret Lindsey Robertson Wood? The following references are mentioned or have meaning related to the Mary Robertson Narrative and expand understanding of this line of the Robertson family. I need to re-read the W.K.Laurie Dickson article because some of Lindsay Margaret’s sister Antonia’s descendants eventually lived in Virginia which is an interesting coincidence to the Robertson’s already living in Virginia. Do they know of each other?
FAMILY BIBLE of Andrew Bucahanan (NEW TESTAMENT, 1754)
[https://books.google.com/books?id=9tUvAAAAMAAJ Glasgow, Past and Present: Illustrated in Dean of Guild Court Reports and in ... By Senex (pseud. of R. Reid.), B. J]
GLASGOW'S TOBACCO LORDS: AN EXAMINATION OF WEALTH CREATORS IN THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY by Peters, Carolyn Marie (1990)]
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